Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup

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Cardboard. Soaked in broth. Until it has mostly dissolved.

That is how my husband illustrated his displeasure for this “gritty, flavorless” concoction.

What? I protested. No Flavor? How can you say it has no flavor? Can’t you taste the pungent garlic and slightly sweetened onion? How about the fragrant, earthy herbs? No? You are sadly mistaken – that ‘grittiness’ you claim to taste is actually creamy pureed beans – hardly cardboard!

No matter how much I tried to persuade my husband that this was actually a very healthy soup that would help lower his cholesterol (thank you beans and garlic) he wasn’t having it. I even tried to make this soup more enticing by having him roughly chop up a piece of grilled chicken and add it to the soup to no avail. To him, it was like the chicken was floating in a pool of soaking, aged -to- the-point-of- disintegration, cardboard. Sigh.

I, for one, found this soup to be very satisfying, although pretty visually unappealing. I had tried this soup before and liked the fact that it was fast and easy to prepare; being low in calories and fat while also filling didn’t hurt either.

It didn’t come as a surprise to Kris when I revealed the source of the recipe. The look on my face gave it away actually. “This is from Giada, isn’t it?” Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Giada – but her recipes are either a hit or a miss and unfortunately, the recipes of hers that I have made recently have all been misses.

To dress up this otherwise dreary looking soup, I drizzled it with some herb infused oil that can be made easily and will add a little kick to any savory recipe. Even with my extra little touches, I don’t think that I will be making this soup for my husband again.

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup
Author: 
 
Slightly adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped (who has shallots on hand? I used about ⅓ c chopped Mayan onion)
  • 1 sage leaf (I used ½ tsp herbs de Provence)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I used vegetable broth – gotta keep it vegetarian )
  • 4 cloves garlic, cut in ½
  • ½ cup cream
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine butter; olive oil and onion.
  2. Sautee until onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the herbs de Provence and cannelloni beans.
  4. Slowly add the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  5. Drop in the garlic cloves and continue to simmer until the garlic has softened, roughly 10 minutes.
  6. Working in batches, puree soup mixture in a blender until smooth.
  7. **Note: It is a good idea to only fill your blender ¼ full with the hot mixture. Otherwise, you are just asking for a hot, violent eruption!
  8. Return blended soup to sauce pan and add the cream and black pepper. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.

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